This Phase II report of the GEMS project identifies metrics available to monitor the social and economic outcomes of a wide variety of coastal projects funded in the Gulf, using ESLMs to illustrate how these projects’ impacts cascade through the biophysical system to result in social and economic outcomes. Phase II expands the focus to assess socioeconomic metrics for 16 coastal project types, including habitat restoration, recreational enhancement, and water quality improvement projects.
Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States
A shared understanding of the benefits and tradeoffs to people from alternative land management strategies is critical to successful decision-making for managing public lands and fostering shared stewardship. This study describes an approach for identifying and monitoring the types of resource benefits and tradeoffs considered in National Forest planning in the United States under the 2012 Planning Rule and demonstrates the use of tools for conceptualizing the production of ecosystem services and benefits from alternative land management strategies.
Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation and Restoration Priorities for Water Purification
This methods brief focuses on water purification by natural land cover, which removes nonpoint-source pollutants from runoff water before they reach waterways. This analysis maps natural land cover within the likely flowpaths of water from agricultural areas to waterways.
Ecosystem accounts, as formalized by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounts (SEEA EEA), have been compiled in a number of countries, yet there have been few attempts to develop them for the U.S. We explore the potential for U.S. ecosystem accounting by compiling ecosystem extent, condition, and ecosystem services supply and use accounts for a 10-state region in the Southeast. The pilot accounts address air quality, water quality, biodiversity, carbon storage, recreation, and pollination for selected years from 2001 to 2015.
This project explores how these non-USFS models could be combined with existing USFS models to provide a fuller analysis of ecosystem services outcomes from different management scenarios. We used an ecosystem service conceptual model as a framework to examine the utility of currently available predictive models for quantifying the effects of fire and timber management on ecosystem services and socioeconomic outcomes.
Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation Priorities for Open Space Recreation Access
This methods brief focuses on access to recreational open space, which is a key component of mental health and well-being. This analysis maps the supply of publicly accessible open spaces relative to where people live. Regional priority areas for the creation of new open space through conservation are identified based on a metric representing the number of people who would benefit from new recreational open space if it were created in that area.
The GEMS (Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models and Socio-Economic Indicators) team will develop ESLMs and metrics for a wide range of coastal restoration approaches over the course of the project. This report presents the results of the first phase of the GEMS project, which focused on oyster reef restoration.
Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation Priorities for Recreational Birding
This methods brief focuses on recreational birding. This analysis maps the location of recreational birding activity in the southeastern U.S. Regional priorities for conservation of birding areas are identified based on the total amount of birding activity and the proportion of birding activity that takes place on unprotected land.
Mapping Ecosystem Services for the Southeast United States: Conservation and Restoration Priorities for Wild Pollinator Habitat
This methods brief focuses on wild pollination, which is beneficial to the production of many pollinator-dependent crops. This analysis maps the supply of potential wild pollinator habitat and the demand for pollination from agriculture. Spatial datasets for these priority areas and associated metrics are available on ScienceBase.
Funders and developers of infrastructure projects and businesses and managers overseeing critical natural resources are becoming increasingly aware of and interested in ecosystem services. Quick, simple, transparent, and low-cost ways for incorporating these services into decisions are just now under development. One tool that can support widespread implementation is ecosystem services conceptual models. This report facilitates development and use of such models in federal decision making by presenting a “how-to” guide and illustrative examples. It is part of the Conceptual Model Series produced by the National Ecosystem Services Partnership.